Illinois legislators to meet with Quinn about gambling bill

June 15, 2011

By Amanda Vinicky

Illinois legislators are meeting with Governor Pat Quinn Thursday in hopes of winning his support for a gambling expansion bill.

Quinn has spoken out against the legislation -- approved last month-- which would add slot machines and five new casinos.
                                          
Rather than give Quinn the chance to veto or change the package, either of which would likely kill it, legislators used a technical maneuver to keep it from going to the governor's desk.

Senate sponsor Terry Link (D-30th) said the hold gives him time to assuage the governor's concerns.

"Yeah, we will increase in size but you know we're not up there being another Las Vegas by any means," he said.

Link said he is open to talking with Quinn if the governor has any suggestions on how to downsize the measure. But said the casino set to go in his district near Waukegan would have to remain.

House sponsor Lou Lang (D-16th) will also be in on talks with Quinn.

"To the extent that I can accommodate the governor, I'm willing to listen to him.  Willing to hear what he wants to do.  But I'm not willing to state upfront that I'm prepared to shrink the bill down," Lang said.

However, Lang said he won't accept substantial changes.